Spann-Pittman Letter

Bienville Parish, Louisiana
Letter to Spann and Lou Ragan from Georgia Ann Frances "Fannie" Bryan Pittman

This letter was sent to me by Bill Ragan.  It was originally copied and sent to him by E. Ragan Pruitt. This letter and others belonged to Elizabeth Leurany "Lizzie" Ragan and their location is not known at this time.  Fannie Pittman was the youngest daughter of Reddick Bryan and Elizabeth Regan. Spann Ragan was her half brother, son of Elizabeth Regan and her first husband, Joseph Regan.  Fannie was born on June 15, 1839 and died March 13, 1908.  She was first married to James "Jim" S. Pittman who died on a battlefield while fighting in Tennessee in the fall of 1863. Her second marriage was to Ezekiel Wimberly.  

Other letters written by Fannie Wimberly and her husband, James S. Pittman can be found in the Wimberly Family History compiled by Vera Wimberly.

                                                                                                          Wed Feb. 5th AD 1862

My Dear Brother and Sister

     It has been a very long time since I have written to you or received a letter from you and have come to the conclusion that will write to you again as would be pleased to hear from you by letter again.  I have but little news to write you of interest and that will very likely be of the All absorbing topic War  as that is all that is talked of now.  We have hard times with us now and I fear worse a coming.  Though from what I've heard we are not quite so bad of as the citizens of Georgia yet for my part it is worse for me now than is pleasant  you no doubt have heard ere this that Mr. Pittman was in the Army.  Yes, it is even the case.  It seems sometimes that it is all I can bear and on reflection I think that it is wrong for me to ________ just to think what he has left home and comfort and binding ties  ____ .  He has been in the service four months the twentieth of Jan. He has been home once.  I have been to see him once which makes twice I have seen him.  He is now stationed at New Orleans but don't know how long they will remain there as there has been a good deal of talk of their being ordered to Mobile.  It is thought by a good many that Mobile will be attacked soon. 

     There are    {top of page was cut off when copied}  also.  He {"He" may refer to Terrell Bryan} and Jim are in the same company. It is the Castor Guards under Capt. Mabry 16 Regiment  There are many of my acquaintances in it.  They were all proud to see me when I went down.  I only remained with Jim seven days.  If it is so I can will visit him again sometimes.  If I could only know that he would go through his term safe it would not go so hard with me.  He was sick a few days before I went to see him but I found him up and left him well.  I left the city the twenty seventh of last month.  I have been quite uneasy about him ever since as there has been such a great deal of rain and it is such a muddy place where they are.  they are on the___________ RailRoad.  two miles from the Citty.  I enjoyed my trip fine but got home with the worst cold I ever had in my life.  It settled in my throat and yesterday evening it commenced getting {not ledgible}so I had to draw a blister on it  I have the worst time with my throat you most ever saw any body.  It gets so bad sometimes it seems almost like it will kill me.

     Pap got a letter from Lizzie Bryan a few days ago  she wrote of the hard times said she was to see you last fall. She is very anxious to come back to La.  Says her people won't do anything for her.  Mother is going to write to her this evening.  Brother I will not be able to write you an interesting letter as you will see so don't expect anything interesting. 

     The connection are all tolerably well.  Bro. Jimmy has the chills.  My baby had one this morning and is quite sick with it. I had like to of forgotten to say to you Jim Watts was also in the Army.  He is in Virginia at Manassas.  His time will be out in June.  Mother's health is not very good but better than has been in sometime.

     We have been somewhat looking for you to move out hear as we could not hear from you  and you've been writing something like coming.  All would be very glad to see you and have you live among us.  I think if you have much of your provisions to buy it would be much better for you to come ___ they are cheaper here than there.  I don't hear of anything selling here but Pork.  It has been selling at ten cents.  Corn and other things have been made in great abundance so there is no sale for it unless it is sold to the government.  I think the poor soldiers ought to be well supplied with corn meal for they don't get anything but Flour and beef to eat, it is enough to kill the  last one of them.  It would to if they were not so patriotic. 

      Well brother I will come to a close as have nothing more of interest to write. Kiss Lou and the babies for me. Write very soon and let us hear from you.  Your devoted sister

                                                                    Fannie Pittman

Those mentioned in this letter are as follows:

Brother and sister - Spann and Lou Ragan  -  Spann Ragan, son of Elizabeth Regan and her first husband and first cousin, Joseph Regan, married Julius Leurany "Lou" Speight on May 1, 1856 in Bronwood, Georgia.  Lou was the daughter of Rev. Thomas Speight and Leurany Pope.

Castor Guards - James S. Pittman served in this unit as well as Fannie's brother, my great-grandfather, Terrell Bryan. Click here to see a list of others who served in this unit.

Captain Mabry - Captain of the Castor Guards from May 1861 to May 1862. He later died of wounds received at a battle in Farmington, MS.

Pap - Reddick Bryan, father of Fannie

Lizzie Bryan - Appears to be Elizabeth Ann Mercer Bryan who was married to Simeon Baker Bryan. Simeon, who died in 1856, is thought to be Baker Bryan, Reddick's second son from his first marriage and half-brother to Fannie.

James Bryan, eldest son of Reddick, half brother to Fannie, and stepbrother to Spann.

My Baby - Child of J. S. Pittman and Fannie. A letter that appears in the Wimberly Family History  mentions this baby and Fannie referred to it as "her." It is not known if this baby survived childhood as next to Fannie's name in Terrell Bryan's Bible is written "no children."

Jim Watts - James C. Watts married to Catherine Amanda "Manda" Watts, one of Fannie's sisters.



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